Event Spotlight: Catherine of Braganza Lecture

16th October 2018

Isabel Stilwell - Catherine of Braganza LectureOn Thursday 11th October 2018, the Royal Hospital Chelsea hosted a fascinating lecture in partnership with the Anglo-Portuguese Society. Presented by Isabel Stilwell, a Portuguese journalist and writer, the lecture focused on the story of Catherine of Braganza, daughter of Luísa of Gusmão and King João IV of Portugal. Aged just 23, Catherine left behind all that was dear to her to become Queen of England and wife of King Charles II.

Over the centuries, Catherine's story has become tainted by myths and prejudice and Isabel set out to overturn them in her inaugural lecture at the Royal Hospital, set against the backdrop of the magnificent State Apartments and which was attended by almost 100 members and guests.

Isabel's historical novel on Queen Filipa de Lencastre, published in 2007, was a great commercial success. Isabel subsequently went on to write six novels about the queens of Portugal, including Catherine of Braganza, copies of which Isabel kindly signed and inscribed for guests during the drinks reception.

Members and guests were also joined by Chelsea Pensioners, Harry and Dewi, who thoroughly enjoyed listening to Isabel’s depiction of Catherine. Harry, said of the lecture: "It was a very informative evening - I learnt a lot about the Royal Hospital’s Portuguese connection which I was not aware of before the event.”

Constance Venn, Friends Membership Officer at the Royal Hospital Chelsea said: "It was a very enjoyable evening with a fantastic turnout. Isabel was a wonderfully engaging guest speaker who was happy to meet and chat with the audience before delivering a lecture that really captured the character of Catherine for our imaginations. Our members, and guests of the Anglo-Portuguese society, had a great time."

For an opportunity to join future events and for more information on becoming a Friend of the Royal Hospital visit our Membership section.

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